Wishpaw takes a look at Bumblestripe’s actions in the series.
Okay, this one is going to be long, so hear me out.
Now, as you guessed from the title, I will be defending Bumblestripe who is (in my opinion, unfairly, but alas) judged from his actions against Dovewing. Now, I’m not saying that Dovewing is bad, or that she was wrong in ending the relationship, but I AM saying that Bumblestripe is not that bad. And that rumor that ‘everyone who likes him is just a Dovewing hater?’ Definitely untrue. Now, why do I like Bumblestripe? Three words:
He was believable.
Let’s take it from the beginning. Bumblestripe was born to Graystripe and Millie along with Briarlight and Blossomfall. When Briarlight injures her spine and is no longer able to move her back legs, her mother seems to pay far more attention to her, which isn’t exactly beyond reason. Seeing one of your children hurt is difficult and would make anyone in their right mind worry. But the effects of her negligence are harsh, and Bumblestripe and Blossomfall are left scarred by both their own rejection and their sister’s injury. These two are closer than ever before. And this makes sense. Them two have just lost something very precious to them. But then he gains his crush on Dovewing. He tries to spend more time with her, but Blossomfall is angry with him.
This is the divergent point between the two. Blossomfall and Bumblestripe are severed from each other, and once again Bumblestripe has any support he once had ripped right out from under him. How these two process and act upon their mutual rejection makes sense to their characters completely. At this point, Dovewing is all he has left. So, he begins to try to get closer to her. But he is going way too fast. Dovewing is uncomfortable with him. He acts this way because he fears being rejected by her. But his experience in how to keep a steady relationship has been forever altered by Blossomfall. Blossomfall was the closest relationship he had ever had, and what caused that one to die out? Simple: his choice to try and form other relationships. The main female figure in his life was always Blossomfall. Therefore, he had been taught by his experiences with his sister and best friend that this is the way to behave during a relationship. So, he begins to rely exclusively on Dovewing for social interaction.
And then Dovewing meets Tigerheart. I’m sure you all know what happens next. Dovewing falls in love and moves on from Bumblestripe. And Bumblestripe, too, eventually moves on, forming a friendship (at the very least) with Cherryfall. And, frankly? This is a perfect conclusion. His sibling bond with Blossomfall taught him the importance of loyalty and sticking with those you love during hardship, and his relationship with Dovewing taught him not to rely on only one person for relationship support. It needed to happen and it needed to end. He now has all the tools he needs to succeed in his social life and start again. He is given a happy ending, and after having it all taken away time and time again, things are finally looking up for him.
Now, let’s compare this to another character I’m sure many of you would recoil at the mention of: Ashfur. He was born to Whitestorm and Brindleface along with his sister Ferncloud. While he is an apprentice, his mother Brindleface is killed. Later, he gains a crush on Squirrelpaw and is frustrated when he chooses Brambleclaw instead. But then, for no reason, he goes full murder mode! He was ready to kill her kits! But… Why, exactly? I mean, yeah, Squirrelflight’s rejection hurt, but where did the ‘go psychopath’ idea come from? Maybe he was angry that Brambleclaw was the son of his mother’s murderer? But if that were true, wouldn’t he be madder at Brambleclaw? His actions make no sense and have no foundation in experience.
Okay, so here’s the part where I talk about Dovewing. As much as I appreciate Bumblestripe’s character, I am unwilling to lie and say that he and Dovewing were meant to be. The relationship was, in fact, unhealthy, and Dovewing had every right to end it. She is not, never was, and never will be obligated to love him. The relationship was unhealthy. Bumblestripe was far too attached, and if Dovewing doesn’t want him, then she doesn’t want him.
But I get the feeling that right now, Bumblestripe is still in the ‘anger’ phase. Because of his closeness, he finds it harder to accept. But this means a perfect opportunity to wrap up his character arc. I’m thinking an apology to Dovewing would suffice, and a new relationship with someone else. My last comment on this is he can’t stay mad forever. Eventually, he’ll redeem himself.
But I guess we’ll have to find out. Maybe he’ll turn into a better developed Ashfur. But hopefully not. We don’t need that again.
But anyway, what are your thoughts on Bumble boi? Take the quiz at this here link: